The mother of one of two nine-year-old girls murdered in Brighton told a jury that she was aware of allegations that her daughter Nicola Fellows had been the subject of a pornographic film.
Susan Eismann, formerly Fellows, said that she had heard about the claim made by the defendant Russell Bishop’s ex-girlfriend Marion Stevenson.
Bishop, 52, a former roofer who lived in Stephens Road, Hollingdean, is on trial for the murder of Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway, both of Newick Road, Moulsecoomb.
At the Central Criminal Court – better known as the Old Bailey – Mrs Eismann said: “I first heard of an allegation made by Marion of Nicola being in a pornographic film in 1986.
“I heard the allegation through speaking to people in the area and also through my police liaison officer.”
Mrs Eismann said that she hadn’t spoken to her ex-husband about it and she wouldn’t have dared.
She also said that Mr Fellows had hit her elderly and outspoken grandmother, breaking her nose, because of something that she had said.
And that he had hit Nicola who was “dotty over her father but also wary”.
Brian Altman, prosecuting in the trial of former Brighton roofer Russell Bishop for the murder of the two girls, said: “Barrie slapped your grandmother? He broke her nose?”
Mrs Eismann said yes.
Mr Altman said that the police were called but that Mrs Eisman’s grandmother did not want to press charges.
Mrs Eismann said that her daughter and her father loved each other in “a child’s way”. She said: “If she was out of control, if she was naughty, he would slap her.”
In a statement to the police in 1986, she said: “Nicola was dotty over her father but was also wary of him. She knew what he said went.”
Karen Hadaway’s mother Michelle Johnson was asked about concerns that she had about Barrie Fellows.
They were set out in a letter in 1989 after one of her ward councillors Gordon Wingate came to her house with another man to speak with her.
It turned out that the other man was Bishop’s uncle, Michael Dawes.
Mrs Johnson, wrote in the letter about her concerns about Mr Fellows‘ strange behaviour, saying: “I’m afraid that Barrie Fellows’ strange and unnatural behaviour since my daughter was murdered has not got any better.”
According to Mrs Johnson, he had told her that it was “lucky Karen had not been beaten before she died”.
She said that she found this strange because she had been told what had happened.
Joel Bennathan, defending, suggested that Mr Fellows night have known more than her because he had been to identify his daughter’s body.
Mr Fellows also said a number of times that Karen had been in the “wrong place at the wrong time”.
Mrs Johnson earlier wept as she spoke about the moment when the girls were found.
She said: “I was all upset, confused and did not know where I was. I was just terrified about my little girl … worried about both them children.”
The girls vanished after school on Thursday 9 October 1986, having last been seen in Wild Park, in Moulsecoomb, not far from their homes.
After an intensive and increasingly desperate search, their bodies were found in a den in undergrowth on a hillside in the park the next day.
The jury was told that Bishop had been charged with murdering the girls and tried at Lewes Crown Court in 1987.
He was acquitted but unusually he has been ordered to stand trial again because advances in DNA science meant that there was new evidence to justify a retrial.
The court was also told that in 1990 Bishop was convicted of kidnapping, indecently assaulting and trying to murder of a seven-year-old girl at the Devil’s Dyke, just outside Brighton.
Bishop denies two counts of murder.
The trial continues.
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